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Poetry: Mercy of Christ

Miriam Jessie Fisher —

sometimes I discover
I am
out of sorts
sitting at the intersect of an unsaid prayer
the breath before the sentence

I am
paralysed by the pressure to perform
to prove
to make an eloquent argument
and be genuine and confidence inducing

I find myself crushed by the suspicious gaze
that asks if I am
your kind of Christian

I want to make you feel safe
I want to impress you
perform in your approved parade
and receive your applause as a reward


except it is for you and not for Christ
you become the crowd and the crown
dispenser of stickers and cookies
and pats on the back

I cannot perform for you
I will miss-step and you will disapprove
I cannot be the pharisee you’d like me to be
balancing multiple burdens while expertly tithing mint and thyme

I am made to drop my burdens, messy, in my hurry to touch the edge of his      garment
to meet him by a well, when I am thirsty, and he is living water

I am longing to touch the ordinary, extraordinary, scarred hands of Jesus

I am made
to hear him say
the one you are looking for is me

and in that short sentence
I am willing
to throw my lot in with the sinners who surround him – rich and poor alike
those friends who stink of fish – who walk, and sink, on water

the breath before the word expands
I have cast
will cast
am casting myself
upon the mercy of Christ

I cannot be more than a daughter
who has been welcomed home